On Tuesday, April 2, 2013 8:07:48 PM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
>  On 4/2/2013 3:54 PM, John Mikes wrote:
> Dear Stathis, 
> your lengthy reply to Craig is a bit longer than I can manage to reply in 
> all facets so here is a condensed opinion:
>  Your position about the 'material' world (atoms, etc.) seems a bit 
> mechanistic: like us, the (call it:) inanimates are also different no 
> matter how identical we think they are in those lines we observe by our 
> instruments and reductionist means. 
> You ask about Na-ions: well, even atoms/ions are different to a wider 
> scrutiny than enclosed in our physical sciences. Just  think about the 
> fission-sequence - unpredictable WHICH one will undergo it next. It maybe 
> differential within the atomic nucleus, may be in the circumstances and 
> their so far not established impact on the individual atoms (ions?) leading 
> to a "next one". 
> That would imply a hidden variable in the atom which determined when it 
> decayed.  Local hidden variables have been ruled out by numerous 
> experiments.  Non-local hidden variables (as in Bohm's quantum mechanics) 
> are not ruled out in non-relativistic experiments but it doesn't appear 
> possible to extend them to quantum field theory in which the number of 
> particles is not conserved.
>  We know only a portion of the totality and just think that everything 
> has been covered. 
> I am not representing Craig, I make remarks upon your ideas of everything 
> being predictably identical to its similars. 
>  The (so far) "known facts" are neither: not 'known' and not 'facts'. 
> Characteristics are restricted to yesterday's inventory and many potentials 
> are not even dreamed of. 
> We can manipulate a lot of circumstances, but be ready for others that may 
> show up tomorrow - beyond our control.
>  I agree with Craig (in his response to this same long post):
>  "...Nothing is absolutely identical to anything else. Nothing is even   
>     identical to itself from moment to moment. Identical is a local 
> approximation contingent upon the comprehensiveness of sense capacities. If 
> your senses aren't very discerning, then lots of things seem identical...."
> The Schrodinger equation only works if the interchange of two bosons makes 
> no difference - so it is implicit in the success of quantum mechanics that 
> they are identical. 

Does being interchangeable necessarily mean identical? If I am driving in 
traffic, my car could be exchanged with any other on the road and be 
observed to behave in the same way, yet my experience is that the car which 
I am driving is very different from every other car in the universe. If we 
close our eyes to the reality of subjectivity, then we can't be very 
surprised when we fail to see how reality could be subjective.

Similarly the solution changes sign if fermions are interchanged and that 
> requires that the two fermions be identical.  Otherwise bosons wouldn't 
> obey bose-einstein statistics and fermions wouldn't obey fermi-dirac 
> statistics, they would both obey Maxwell-Boltzman statistics - but 
> experiment shows they don't.
>  I would add: no TWO events have identical circumstances to face, 
> even if you do no detect inividual differences in the observed data of 
> participating entities, the influencing circumstances are different from 
> instance to instance and call for changes in processes. Bio, or not. 
> But that becomes an all-purpose excuse for anything-goes.  No 
> generalization is possible, no pattern can be extrapolated.

Not true. Any generalization is permitted as long as it is recognized as 
such and not mistaken for a literal and exhaustive description of nature. 
If your generalization makes consciousness undetectable, then that 
generalization is no good for addressing consciousness, but it may very 
well work for all kinds of precision engineering purposes.


>   Yet the success of empiricism and science is evidence that there are 
> regularities in nature and not every event is unique, replication is 
> possible.

But the failures of empiricism and science to bring about a sane and 
sustainable way of life for our species are evidence that we cannot afford 
to assume that regularity is the ultimate truth.


> Brent
>  This is one little corner how agnosticism frees up my mind (beware: not 
> "freezes"!!).
> John Mikes

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